Planetary nebulae and ALMA
Our understanding of the late evolution of intermediate mass stars (∼1–8M⊙) through the planetary nebula phase is undergoing major developments. Observations at infrared and millimeter wavelengths have revealed important components of neutral gas and dust in the nebulae that directly trace their formation from mass-loss on the Asymptotic Giant Branch. At the same time, high resolution imaging, especially with the Hubble Space Telescope, has revealed a surprising array of structures in the nebulae: multiple arcs, tori, jets, and myriads of small scale fragments. None of these are fully understood, and all involve the neutral gas component. This paper highlights recent observations of these structures and discusses the open questions, with an emphasis on those areas where observations with ALMA are likely to make important contributions.
KeywordsPlanetary nebulae Molecular lines
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